When Artist-in-Residence W. Andre Allen is aboard our ships, his intricate and imaginative glass artwork fills Artist Loft with bold hues and intriguing patterns. In fact, you can find his eye-catching work as part of the permanent collections on all of our ships. A successful self-taught artist hailing from New England, W. Andre has been one of our Artists-in-Residence since 2012. We recently sat down with him to find out what’s new in his world, the most inspiring places he’s traveled and where he’ll be sailing next.
What have you been up to when you’re not aboard one of our ships in Artist Loft?
This past July, I opened my own gallery in Charleston, and it’s one of the first full contemporary art galleries there. I was previously on Lincoln Road on South Beach and wanted to continue to have a presence somewhere with travelers but also art lovers. We’re in a great location between the famous Historic Charleston City Market and the Exchange Building.
Tell us about some of your newest projects.
The latest is my artwork being used for apparel, which is really exciting. I have silk scarves for women and pocket squares for men as well as beach towels. I also have a furniture line designed by my partner Jeffrey Holden and I’m collaborating with award-winning British performer Joss Stone on a private collection.
You were recently aboard Marina in the South Pacific – what were your workshops focusing on?
On board, I love sharing with the guests how I do my glass painting, so we work with acrylic paint on glass plates. It’s really interesting because you need to think about your design differently – everything needs to be done in reverse. I’ve also added some watercolor classes which have been popular.
What’s the most inspiring place you’ve ever traveled to?
My favorite place to cruise is the Mediterranean, from the blue ocean to the Amalfi Coast, it’s so inspiring with all of the incredible colors. Greece is my number one destination in the region. I find all of the old doors so striking – they have layers and layers of colored paint that have never been scraped off and it’s just…artwork. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Where are you dreaming of traveling next?
I’ve been dreaming of going to Asia and Africa for quite a while. There’s so much culture to learn from...not to mention the food and I’m really interested in specialty musical instruments that you can’t find elsewhere. I’d also really love the chance to explore Australia and New Zealand.
I’ll be on board Riviera in the fall beginning with her November 15, 2019 Sun & Serenade sailing through February 2020. Hope to see you in Artist Loft then!